By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Storms hit southern and central U.S. states over the Christmas holiday, unleashing floods and tornadoes that killed at least 41 people, flattened buildings and snarled transportation for millions during a busy travel time. At least 11 people were killed in the Dallas area over the weekend by tornadoes, including one packing winds of up to 200 miles per hour (322 km per hour). The twister hit the city of Garland, killing eight people and blowing vehicles off highways. "A tornado of that strength is very rare in a metropolitan area," National Weather Service meteorologist Matt Bishop said in a telephone interview. Powerful tornadoes are a staple of spring and summer in central states but occur less frequently in winter, according to U.S. weather data "It is total devastation," Garland Police spokesman Lieutenant Pedro Barineau said. "It is a very difficult time to be struck by such a horrible storm the day after Christmas." Three other deaths were reported in the Dallas metropolitan area, the United States' fourth most populous with about 7 million residents. Scores of people were injured in the region, officials said. Three tornadoes were reported in Arkansas on Sunday, the weather service said, but there were no initial reports of significant injuries or damage. The service has issued tornado watches and warnings for areas in that state, as well as in parts of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. A tornado watch means a storm is likely, while a warning means a storm or storms have been sighted. In Illinois and Missouri, flash flooding killed at least 11 people, officials and local media reported on Sunday. Six adults drowned when they drove their cars into flooded waterways in Missouri's Pulaski County, said county Sheriff Ron Long. In neighboring Illinois, Salem-based radio station WJBD reported a family of three adults and two children was driving near the village of Patoka, 85 miles (137 km)east of St. Louis, Missouri, when their car was washed away by floodwaters. The storms came on the heels of tornadoes that hit two days before Christmas, killing at least 18 people, including 10 in Mississippi. In Alabama's Coffee County, the body of a man who went missing during those storms was found on Sunday, officials told local media. In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said his office had declared Dallas County and three nearby counties disaster areas. He also warned people to be wary of snow in western parts of the state and rivers spilling their banks in other places. "If you do not need to be on the road, please stay off the road," he said at a news conference. The weather service issued severe weather advisories for large parts of the central United States, including a blizzard warning for parts of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas and a flash flood watch stretching from Texas to Indiana. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency for the entire state due to a winter storm expected to dump up to 2 feet of snow in eastern parts of the state. The bad weather forced the cancellation of nearly 1,300 flights in the nation as of 4:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, according to tracking service FlightAware.com. About half of the canceled flights were in Dallas, a major U.S. flight hub. (Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza and Jon Herskovitz; Additonal reporting by Marice Richter in Dallas and Curtis Skinner in San Francisco; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
An official report says Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved the journalist's murder.
- The Independent
Singer’s dogwalker was shot and her two French bulldogs stolen
- The Independent
Republican gathering began in 1974 and sees American conservatives debate social worries but has struggled with position on 'alt-right' in recent years
- Associated Press
Kyle Connor scored twice and the Winnipeg Jets spoiled Dominique Ducharme's debut as Montreal's coach, rallying to beat the Canadiens 6-3 on Thursday night to open a two-game series. The Jets rallied after Montreal took a 2-0 lead into the second period.
- Business Insider
Federal investigators zeroed in on the assailant after video footage showed the suspect attacking officers with bear spray, The Times reported.
- The State
“Her daddy got to heaven just before she did.”
- Charlotte Observer
This is the shocking story of the alleged sexual abuses that led to the January arrest of Sandra Hiler — aka Charlotte piano teacher Keiko Aloe — as told by her 21-year-old daughter.
Former Sen. Kelly Loeffler is out as owner of WNBA team, and the new owners include former star player who retired to fight for social justice
One month after WNBA players helped oust Kelly Loeffler from the Senate, the league announced that it had approved sale of the franchise she co-owned.
Residents of an Indian slum thought they were getting vaccinated like everyone else but were unknowingly part of a clinical trial
After a white van advertised COVID-19 vaccines to a central-Indian slum, many of its residents feel duped after finding out they were in a trial.
Ben Affleck says his divorce from Jennifer Garner and other 'life experience' shaped him into a better actor
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- Business Insider
Ted Cruz rants about comedians, late-night TV, and mask-wearing before shouting at people to 'just have fun' in wild CPAC speech
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- Business Insider
Ted Cruz's colleagues mocked him by putting memes of his Cancun trip in the Senate gym locker room: 'Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!'
Those who turned up to the Senate gym Wednesday morning were welcomed by color printouts of Cruz's Cancun trip that read "Bienvenido de Nuevo, Ted!"
- National Review
After only a month in power, President Biden has used lethal military force in reaction to Iranian-sponsored attacks on Americans in Iraq. The strike, said to be by F-15 jets, apparently attacked buildings owned by Iraqi Shiite militia groups along the Iraqi-Syrian border. It’s worth pausing to note that those Iranian-backed Iraqi Shiite groups and not the government of Iraq control that part of the border. In other words, Iran and its proxies control a route from Iraq through Syria to Lebanon, where the largest Iranian proxy, Hezbollah, is situated. The borders have been erased. The Biden strike is a message to Iran, a warning shot against continuing attacks by the militias Tehran backs. According to press reports, Biden was presented with a range of options and chose one of the softest — a limited strike inside Syria rather than Iraq. There is a logic to this choice. First, U.S. attacks inside Iraq would likely complicate life for Prime Minister Kadhimi, whom we are generally supporting, and spur the forces hostile to any U.S. presence — not least the Iranian-allied militias — to demand that all U.S. forces be expelled. Second, should further Iranian-sponsored attacks require Biden to hit Iranian-backed forces again, this limited strike allows him to say he tried patience and restraint and they failed. But the strike inside Syria and at Iranian proxies may also send messages Biden does not intend: that the United States will never hit Tehran’s proxies inside Iraq and that it will never hit Iran. If that’s what the Iranian regime infers, they will have the militias strike again and again; they will not be deterred because they will see the attacks as nearly cost-free. The law of averages suggests that sooner or later these continued attacks will kill Americans. That’s when the president will face the need to punish Iran and truly establish deterrence; merely attacking its proxies will be inadequate. One of the key functions of the Shiite militias in Iraq is to allow Iran to attack U.S. forces while, by absorbing any penalty, keeping Iran safe. If there are a series of attacks, harming Americans and eventually killing one or more, the kind of limited response from the United States that we saw this past week will not be enough. That does not mean World War III and it does not mean American bombers over Tehran, but it does mean that Biden must contemplate striking Iranian assets rather than expendable proxy groups. Meanwhile, there was zero progress on the nuclear-negotiations front this past week. On the contrary, Iran did not agree to attend the EU-sponsored talks that the United States has agreed to attend, it limited International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to Iran, and it threatened to enrich uranium to 60 percent. Nuclear power requires enrichment to no more than 5 percent; the only use for uranium enriched to 60 percent is in preparing a nuclear weapon. The very least that can be said about President Biden’s second month in power is that we are seeing any dreams of a quick return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the JCPOA, and a quick resolution to U.S.-Iranian confrontations dissolve before our eyes. The president’s refusal, thus far, to lift any sanctions and his willingness to use force against Iranian proxies suggest a more realistic assessment of Iran than many feared. No doubt there will be many deep discussions, even debates, within the administration over what the next move should be. The administration’s willingness to return to the JCPOA if Iran went back into compliance with it has not moved the Islamic Republic an inch. Similarly, the administration’s reversal of the designation of the Houthis in Yemen as a terrorist group, and its decision to halt the sale of “offensive” weapons to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen, were met with zero flexibility by the Houthis — who have carried out additional terrorist attacks since the policy changes. Down the road the administration faces an even greater challenge than what to do about attacks on Americans in Iraq. President Biden has already decided that they will be met with force, and one must assume that if the attacks continue and escalate, the counter-attacks will as well. But what about Iran’s expulsion of nuclear inspectors, which violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the “Additional Protocol” to the JCPOA (that allowed snap inspections)? What about enrichment to 60 percent, if that indeed occurs? How far down the road toward building a nuclear weapon will the administration be willing to let Iran go? That’s a hypothetical question today, but if Iran keeps going it will soon be keeping U.S. officials up at night. Biden is the fifth American president in a row, by my count, to say Iran would never be permitted to build a nuclear weapon. Unless Iran changes course he could be the first to have to prove it.
Prince Harry knew he and Meghan Markle had something 'pretty special' by their second date. Here's a complete timeline of their relationship.
The couple's royal love story began in 2016 when they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend.
A Florida daycare is under fire after giving a 7-month-old baby away to a stranger. When Trinity McCoggle arrived at the Orient Road Child Development Center on January 25 to pick up her 7-month-old son, Adonis, she was left distraught when told her baby had been accidentally given to someone assumed to be the child’s parent, ABC2 News reports. Describing what happened, McCoggle said the daycare worker “went to the back to get him, and when she came back, she said, He’s not here.”
Iran is threatening to end a deal struck with the U.N. nuclear watchdog last weekend temporarily salvaging much monitoring of its activities if the agency's board endorses a U.S.-led push to criticise Tehran next week, an Iranian position paper shows. Tehran this week scaled back cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency, ending extra inspection measures introduced by its 2015 nuclear accord with major powers. Iran and U.S. President Joe Biden's administration are now locked in a standoff over who should move first to save the unravelling 2015 deal.
Prince Harry says 99-year-old Prince Philip just slams his laptop shut instead of hanging up at the end of Zoom calls
The prince told James Corden that he'd had a few Zoom calls with his grandparents where they got to see Archie running around.
The golf legend suffered serious injuries to his right leg in Tuesday's rollover crash in the Los Angeles area.
After the third-grader's classroom incident, a social worker connected the family to a local food bank.
- Business Insider
Merkel says she won't take AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine because she's too old, as 1.4 million jabs are left unused
The German chancellor said she wasn't eligible because the vaccine isn't approved for people over 65 in Germany.